Ow. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder lately. It might just be age, but I can’t help thinking that all these years of carrying a camera bag on that shoulder have left me messed up. The years of having a pound of bird riding on that shoulder probably didn’t help either.
October 21, 2014 by Ben Long & filed under Features
This site has been running off of WordPress for years – since way back at WordPress version 1 – and hasn’t had a re-design since WordPress 2 was released. Recently, I encountered Squarespace while helping a friend put a site together. I was very impressed by Squarespace’s ease-of-use, beautiful designs and thorough feature set. Seeing Squarespace also made me realize that my own site was looking very dated, so I decided it was time to bring completedigitalphotography.com into the modern web era. This posed an immediate quandary: should I stick with WordPress or migrate to Squarespace? Which, I wondered, was best for a photo site?
September 20, 2013 by Ben Long & filed under Features
On The Practicing Photographer this week, I talk to fashion photographer Troy Word about his use of Polaroid. Along the way, he brings us up-to-date on where the current state of Polaroid is, how you can easily get into Polaroid gear, how to mix it with digital, and what you can expect to spend along the way. Most importantly, he speaks to how it can change the way your photographic eye works. You can watch it right here.
September 19, 2013 by Ben Long & filed under Features
This summer, for some reason, a friend and I drove a tiny Fiat Panda from London to Mongolia. Though I have a 13″ MacBook Air, I decided to take my iPad with me on the trip instead of a “real” computer. I also took a good amount of photography gear, which meant that the iPad had to support a fairly full photo workflow. This article details how I made it work, and what I found I could and couldn’t do. The good news is that, if you manage your expectations, and grab the right apps, you can run an effective post-production workflow directly from your iPad.
In my Lynda.com Macro and Close-up course, I cover the simple basics of reversing the lens you already have to turn it into a macro lens. This gives you an extremely easy way to start shooting macro, without having to invest in any special gear. If you give this technique a try, and find it useful, then you’ll want to watch my Lens-Reversal Macro Photography course which goes into more detail of how to get good macro results when shooting with a reversed lens. You’ll see how to re-gain aperture control, how to mount your lens to your camera backward, and how to stack multiple lenses to get even more macro power. Check it out now!Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up
There are a lot of small things in the world, and many of them make great photographic subjects, provided you know how to shoot at a macro scale with your camera. In this course, you’ll see all the basics of macro shooting. If you don’t have a macro lens, don’t worry, because the course starts with instructions on how to shoot macro shots with gear you already have. From there, we work up through extension tubes, add-on lenses, and finally to full-on macro lenses. Focus, metering, composition, and basic lighting are all covered. If you’re interested in macro or close-up photography, you’ll want to check out Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-up.
Last year, not long after it came out, I bought a Fuji X100 because I was intrigued by the promise of a small, rangefinder-like camera with a fixed 35mm lens. I liked the idea of being forced to shoot with a specific field of view; I loved the look and feel of the camera; and it’s hard to beat Fuji’s lens and image quality. What was easy to beat, at the time, was the X100’s autofocus and clumsy menu system. These issues were so frustrating that I sold the camera not long after I bought it. I came to mildly regret this decision as Fuji released firmware updates that addressed many of the issues that had bothered me, but didn’t think seriously about returning to the camera. But with the release of the Fuji X-E1, I couldn’t resist giving Fuji another chance. Here are some of my impressions and thoughts about Fuji’s latest mirrorless camera.
January 9, 2013 by Ben Long & filed under Features
Mostly, good photography is about the skill of the photographer. That said, a lot of photographs are only possible with the right type of lens, and there are a lot of lenses out there tailored to very specific types of shooting. In this new course, I go into detail on how to shoot with ultra-wide-angle lenses, super telephotos, fisheyes, Tilt/Shift, and more. If you’ve been wondering if any of these types of lenses are right for you, or you’ve already got one and want to know more about what it can do, then you’ll want to check out my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.
I’m currently deep in the process of preparing a macro shooting course for Lynda.com As anyone who’s ever dabbled in macro knows, as you get closer, your depth of field gets more shallow. Sometimes unusably shallow. However, there are things you can do to get much deeper depth of field.
November 9, 2012 by Ben Long & filed under Reviews
To me, one of the most unexpected byproducts of digital photography is that it has rekindled tremendous interest in film processes of one kind or another. Alien Skin’s Exposure 4 plug-in for Photoshop lets you explore all sorts of film processes without ever having to soak your hands in noxious chemicals. I recently spent some time with the latest version, and was pleased to find that it remains an excellent option for users who want either a specific traditional film look, or any kind of analog, or grunge process. You can read my entire review here.